Friday, April 17, 2009

Aunt Vernie

Let me introduce you to my aunt Vernie. She was and is my most special aunt. She was born a Downs Syndrome child only a year younger than my Mom. She has the sweetest spirit of anyone I have ever met.

As a child one of the perks of visiting Grandpa Mast's was that you could play with Vernie. From the time I was a toddler to about 8 years old, she was my best friend, we would play with our dolls, and spend hours coloring, she would read her story books to us and give us rides on her wagon or swing, we would talk and sing and play any game we knew.

But then the day came when I could read by myself, and discovered the books had a story completely different from what Vernie had always read to me, and tables turned a bit as I would read the books to her. She didn't seem to mind, but somehow the books got laid aside, and we focused on our dolls and coloring books.

Time went on, and I no longer played with my dolls. I can still see her so plainly, eagerly coming with her dolls when ever I came, and I would tell her I'd rather help her color.

She would look disappointed, but was still happy to spend time coloring together, and so it kept on. I was growing up and gradually leaving my childhood behind. And she could only stand there and watch me go where she could never join me, for she would always live in childhood.
But as one group of nieces and nephews grew up there was always another one and so the the same cycle would repeat itself.

There was always things we did together, like wash the dishes and little odd jobs and we always had to sing a few songs.

Several years ago I had the chance to once again spend time with her, and had to smile at how thrilled my own children were to play with her.

Memories of her are bittersweet, sweet because, well she was sweetness itself but bitter because I could have made life a little nicer for her by not thinking I'm to big to play with her.

I will always love her and have a very special place in my heart that only she can fill. I wish there was a way I could let her know.


  1. What a sweet, touching post. It brought tears to my eyes.

  2. What a sweet honor you paid to Aunt Vernie by writing that. My son is 20 and I still get teary-eyed when I hear the song "Puff the Magic Dragon" because it's the same thing about growing up and moving on. As you know from having your own kids, that's the way of life, sad though it is, and you were only going your natural course. That was precious.

  3. Thank you for sharing your story. I'm glad your children had the opportunity to play with her too :)

  4. What a touching post. You are such an incredible writer. I am really enjoying reading your posts.

  5. This post really touched my heart!

    Blessings to you as you share your memories :o)

  6. Trust me Vernie knows,love always knows! your story brought tears to my eyes,thanks for sharing this story. I just found your blog, because you left a comment on mine. I am glad you did.I am now a follower,you are welcome to follow my blog as well.Blessings jane

  7. I was led to your blog through the Amish Cook web site and I am now a follower of your blog. I have a lot of reading to do to get caught up, but this particular post tugged at my heartstrings as I had a brother with Down's, just a year and a half younger than me. He was the sweetest soul I have ever known, and he passed on in '08. Hardly a day goes by that I don't think of him, or recall a funny story about our childhood. They are truly special people.

  8. Was talking to my mom on the phone yesterday and she told me about your blog. Today I decided to go back and start reading from the beginning.

    This post tells such a beautiful story and touched my heart. Thank you for sharing. With tears in my eyes.

    I look forward to reading more.

  9. Touching... These are the things we don't know until we are adults.


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